Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1685937

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2017

School Board candidate survey - Kelly Wieland

Sep 07, 2017

These are District No. 5 candidate Kelly Wieland’s answers.

1)How long have you lived in the Washington Community School District?

I have been a resident of Washington since 2012.

2) Have you worked for the school district, have a relative working there or children enrolled in the district?

My husband, Chad, has worked for WCSD as one of the high school Spanish teachers since 2006; my son, Noah, will be a student within the district in a few short years.

3) Why are you running for a position on the school board?

The area of education has always been a passion of mine. I had been fortunate to work for an after-school program for at-risk youth throughout several school districts in Iowa and Johnson counties, as well as partnering with hundreds of school districts throughout the country during my time with ACT in Iowa City. By becoming a member of the Board, I want to ensure that the present, as well as the future, of the school district continues to thrive, and by doing that I would like to provide inclusion and transparency throughout the community and within the schools.

4) What are some of the issues you’ve heard about across the state with education happening?

Funding for education has been a continual discussion throughout the state. Earlier this year, there was an approved 1.1 percent increase in educational funding for the 2018 budget year. Not increasing the funding to 2 percent, as proposed by many, worries stakeholders in education that it will increase class sizes and teacher layoffs, along with hurting schools in rural areas. Another large concern is teacher wages within the state of Iowa. Iowa is ranked within the top 10 states in terms of overall education, but falls below the national average of starting teacher and average teacher salaries. One of the newest and most affected issues that have come through the state is the change to Chapter 20, or the Collective Bargaining Reform. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, WCSD had teachers resign and join other school districts that offered higher salaries and/ or kept their master contracts for at least an additional two years, whereas Washington has transitioned to a handbook format. The concern is that the students in the WCSD deserve to have the highest quality education, so there has to be additional conversation about obtaining teacher retention and ensuring collaboration on all sides of the educational front.

 

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